Another day of generally strong earnings and IBMin particular helped the Dow close above 14,000 for the first time ever. Motorola, however, was a major disappointment in the tech sector, posting a quarterly loss. Google shareswere also pounded in after-hours trading, following weaker-than-expected profit in what the company called a "seasonally slow quarter.”
Bernanke was back before Congress, paying particular attention to the housing slump. The Fed boss said that regulators had stepped up efforts to protect consumers from abusive mortgage practices, which contributed to the subprime mess.
"The large forces, such as liquidity which is very high and recent earnings are overcoming problems like subprime," according to Vinny Catalano, global investment strategist at Blue Marble Research. "So far it looks like the bias is still to the upside."
The S&P 500 also closed at a new record high, while the Nasdaq tacked on another three-quarters of a percentage point, regained the 2700 level.